U.S. Soccer Announces Girls’ Development Academy In 2017

U.S. Soccer Announces Girls’ Development Academy In 2017

After months of speculation, U.S. Soccer has officially announced the creation of a Girls’ Development Academy program which will begin play in the fall of 2017.

U.S. Soccer plans to structure the Girls’ Development Academy after its Development Academy program for the boys, which began play in 2007 and now consists of 152 clubs across five age groups.

The Girls’ Development Academy will feature three combined age groups: U-14/15, U-16/17, and U-18/19. Players are also restricted to just playing in the Girls’ Development Academy and cannot play in ODP, high school or any other outside competition. This rule is similar to the Boys’ Development Academy. The season will be held over a 10-month period starting sometime in September and running through July.

With U.S. Soccer coming into the fold, it may mean certain doom for the ECNL, which has been the top league for girl’s since its foundation in 2009. There are currently 14 ECNL clubs in California. Out of those 14 teams, four of them have teams that compete in the Boy’s Development Academy (De Anza Force, Arsenal FC, Real So Cal, San Diego Surf).

The application process for clubs will open in May of 2016. There may be a chance that not all of the ECNL teams in California will play in U.S. Soccer’s new league. Some may forgo the opportunity and a few may not meet U.S. Soccer’s requirements. There may also be new clubs not currently affiliated with the ECNL looking to join this league, as well as a few of the clubs who have teams in the Boys’ Development Academy.

U.S. Soccer also announced that it will be working alongside the NWSL in its efforts to support player development and the long-term growth of professional soccer.

Current List Of Clubs With ECNL Teams:
Mustang SC
Pleasanton Rage
San Juan SC
Santa Rosa United
De Anza Force
Slammers FC
Real So Cal
Eagles SC
So Cal Blues
West Coast FC
Strikers FC
Arsenal FC
San Diego Surf


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    Now maybe some deserving clubs with great development and infrastructure will get what they deserve. Legends FC and Beach FC come to mind.

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      Legends are massive on the girls’ side. It will be interesting to see which clubs apply for the DA and which are approved.

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    Go Legends and Beach FC!

  • comment-avatar

    Which clubs do you predict from SoCal?

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    But in SoCal I think Legends and Beach FC are deserving over Strikers and Arsenal. Do you think any non ECNL clubs will make the cut?

  • comment-avatar
    power punch 5 years

    The only ENCL club that meets the License B Coaching is West Coast.

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    power punch 5 years

    But I hope a lot of non ECNL clubs apply and get accepted. I am not happy with the ECNL Product

  • comment-avatar
    Mondo LaNier 5 years

    Still a Legends homer even though my daughter no longer plays. Great friends and memories. Really hoping the club gets what it truly deserves. #LGOD!

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